City council looks to change idling ordinances

New rules could mean no idling for more than 2 minutes

Drivers who leave their vehicle idling in parking lots and other places in Moab could soon be subject to a fine if the Moab City Council passes proposed ordinances. Photo by Carter Pape

After receiving public input regarding the city’s ordinances allowing idling motors, Moab City Mayor Emily Niehaus recently instructed city staff to present draft ordinances that limit idling times in the city.

The city council discussed the matter at the meeting on Tuesday, July 9. Presented with the choice of limiting idling in most cases to two minutes or 20 minutes, most council members expressed an interest with the shorter option. Council member Mike Duncan said that he would settle for 10 minutes.

The new idling rules could give local police enforcement authority via citations or warnings to ensure drivers turn off their engines in parking lots, drive-thrus and other places around the city.

Elected officials requested that, if it passes the idling ordinances in the coming weeks, signs at each end of town would be installed to signal to tourists and others coming into town make the idling ordinances known.

City staff said that exemptions could be outlined to allow for longer idling in extreme weather (conditions below 0 degrees or above 90) and for “special vehicles.” Semi-trucks are not exempted.

A vote on the proposed ordinances was tabled to the next meeting in two weeks, on July 23.